'Big Gay Breakfast'

14 September 2009
'Big Gay Breakfast'
Monday 14th September 2009. Chicago. Day off.

By the time we got from Chicago to Toronto last night, driven to the hotel and got our bags, with the time-change it was nearly 5am. I was a shell of a human and annoyingly didn't sleep terribly well (I'd hoped that going out and blowing my brains out on Saturday night would have kicked the jet-lag but apparently I'm still messed up. Or maybe I am over the jet-lag, but I'm just messed up anyway).

I eventually got up about noon feeling not unlike I'd been hit by a truck. It was a blistering day outside, so I thought I'd risk mingling with civilians. I was craving breakfast, but by the time I'd got my shit together it must have been 2pm so I knew options would be limited. Tom called just after I'd left the hotel, so we said we'd find each other. I described where I'd headed but looking at a map realised that I'd headed in the opposite direction to what I'd intended (are we seeing a pattern here?)

Via the wonders of cellphones we found each other and Tom concurred that the search for brekky was on. We walked a while but it seemed that the full egg package was going to be a stretch, so Tom said perhaps he'd settle for quiche, if we could p'raps find a Frenchy sort of place. With every step the bar was lowered til we got to thinking that maybe a club sandwich would be in the frame. To further complicate our task, we're in the middle of the Toronto Film Festival here and so everywhere is packed. The white table-clothed pavement cafes were overflowing with style and ambition, with florid menu offerings almost on a par with David Sedaris' unforgettable 'knuckle of flash-seared crappie served with a collar of chided ginger.'

I put my mind to it, thinking there must be places still doing breakfast at 3pm. Who gets up late and needs breakfast? Artists?... certainly. Clergy?... possibly. Gay people?...for sure!! I remembered from a month of rehearsals with the Rolling Stones that (ironically) the street adjacent to the loading dock of the iconic Maple Leaf Gardens forms the cusp of a gay neighbourhood, so we walked in that direction till we spotted rainbow flags in the distance. Outside the first cafe we came to was a sign saying 'Lunch Specials, Omelettes, Eggs Benedict, Breakfast til 4pm.' God bless stereotyping, that's all I have to say.

Our Big Gay Breakfast turned out to be spectacularly good, with generous portions, home-made hollandaise, freshly baked bread, unrequested sides of fresh fruit and the like. We had a table by the open window, sun streaming in, and talked about life, the universe and everything for an hour or two. On departure we went our separate ways and I ended up taking an extended walk through Toronto. I was still pretty dazed but it was a beautiful day and eventually I found myself in the very lovely Queens Park. Nice city this.

En route back to the hotel I passed the Museum of Ontario which is currently displaying the Dead Seas Scrolls, so I felt that it would be rude not to pop in. Unfortunately the scroll exhibit was closed today due to their being at the dry cleaners or something, but I did catch a film installation that featured Isabella Rossellini talking about vaginas whilst dressed as an anchovy and a large chart illustrating animal penis types. I kid you not. I bet the Dead Seas Scrolls wouldn't have had any of that mullarkey, although having said that, parts of Leviticus do get pretty out there, so you never know.

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14 October, 2009
Late Breakfast in Toronto
Sorry for the late comment - I'm just catching up on your diary entries now. For future reference (maybe another show in 2010?) late day breakfast options in Toronto include Eggspectations (on Yonge St at Shuter St), Cora's (thank you Montreal! on Carlton just east of Yonge St), or if looking for some good French breakfasty food, venture out to Queen St E at Degrassi St (yes, THE Degrassi St) to go to Bonjour Brioche. And not to be nit-picky, but we usually your "Museum of Ontario" the "Royal Ontario Museum", aka the ROM, and the "Toronto Tower" is actually the "CN Tower". But we'll forgive your perpetually sleep-deprived self :)
19 September, 2009
This was a very fun post! Just wanted to say thanks for all your hard work. Saw the band in Chicago 2nd night. The show was amazing. Your Blue Room lighting and all was lovely.
19 September, 2009
Willy, you're a riot!
Great quote from from David Sedaris. I'm a major fan of his. As for breakfast, glad you found what you were looking for. I think I know the place where you ate. Good food and great service. And I'm glad the Film Festival is over. I can return to wandering around my hometown without the Hollywood mayhem and endless media hype. Cheers.
18 September, 2009
Oooohh, Matron!
Oooooh, Willie! The innuendo potential knows no bounds as far as a Big Gay Breakfast is concerned. I can understand the "generous portions" you were offered, but I'm shocked at your surprise at the "unrequested fruit" at your side. That is so un-PC! LOL. Love reading your diary. Great work mate. Hey. You wanna do breakfast one day? No? Ok, no, no, I'm not either, I just know....anyway forget it. Doesn't matter. No, no, it's ok. No, honestly. LOOK! I'M NOT HUNGRY ANYMORE! (lunch?)
18 September, 2009
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Thanks Willie. You are a comic genius. No wonder you work with U2. Big Gay Breakfast was good. Dead Sea Scrolls being dry cleaned had Jesus falling off the chair. Isabella & vagina monologues was the cherry that stopped me breathing. Thanks once again Willie. Peace be with you always Brother. p.s. Angels are laughing to.
18 September, 2009
Dead Seas Scrolls are on display? do they travel or it one-time-exhibition ? ooooo, I must find out!! thank you!! As usual I was chuckling over your adventures and I must say I agree with Davcal that you should put it all together in a book. His suggestion for a title made me fall off my chair with laughter. The Wandering Willie! LOL!! Heck, you can use today's photo for your cover.
18 September, 2009
Have you thought about putting all your musings together for a book? You are living every fans dream of following the band on a world tour AND you get paid for it!!! You could call the book 'Around the World in 360' or if you wanted to fool a lot of gay men into buying it you could call it 'the wandering willie'!!
17 September, 2009
Next stop... Foxboro
Please come to Waterfire on Saturday night in Providence - it's free, and it's BEAUTIFUL!!! It's truly an unforgettable fire! :)
17 September, 2009
Welcome back to Canada..
Your Toronto adventure had me laughing (on work time of course) and I love to hear about the odd places you end up. Sounds like a wonderful day and I hope you are feeling more like yourself soon, jet lag is a real bitch. The title of your post and the picture indicate a much more sinister post, I have to admit I was relieved to read the two were unrelated in the end. Whew! LOL! Cheers Willie!
17 September, 2009
Late Breakfast in MA
Hey- I know you guys are headed to MA as I am also headed there on Sunday for the show. YEEEEE HAAAA! Anyway, I don't know any great late breakfast places in Foxborough, but if you're willing to drive for a little while into Boston, there are two great places that serve breakfast all day. One is Johnny's Luncheonette in Newton Centre. They are opened until 9pm and have amazing challah french toast and good omelettes. The other is Zaftig's in Brookline--try the banana stuffed french toast, knishes and potato pancakes. Great food and open late--perfect for jet-lag or people who seem to go in the opposite direction of where they intended. ha!
17 September, 2009
OMG What a Life You Lead WIllie!
You have me laugh and made my day today! Great to hear of your adventures on this tour! I've heard Toronto is one of the wildest cities in North America!
All I Want Is You 2
17 September, 2009
Breakfast Anytime
Try IHOP or Denny's. They are open 24/7 & serve breakfast all day. Breakfast for dinner (AKA "Brinner") is one of my favorites!~)
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